I recently had a reading with Mary Ellen Flora at the CDM Spiritual Center in Everett, Washington. Yes, I occasionally get readings rather than give them. It was a wonderful experience. During the course of the reading, I realized how much anger I had squashed down over the duration of my lifetime. I needed to allow my anger to run for a couple of reasons. First, as a healing to release all that old bottled-up gunk and second, to validate how my body was feeling in the present.
The neat thing is that this could be done all at one time! I knew that if I sat down and ran my own anger through my space while focused in the present, it would have the added benefit of allowing me to clear out the old anger I’d stuffed down and had been unconsciously packing around for years.
When I settled into my meditation – ready to really let my anger run – I thought I was prepared. I was ready to clear away the beliefs about not wanting to broadcast or “throw” my anger. The one about nice people (not even just nice girls – but nice people) don’t experience or express anger. Even the ones that had some version of “anger is bad and if you have anger that means YOU are bad.” All of these things eventually surfaced for me to clear, but I was not prepared for my body’s initial reaction.
The conversation went something like this:
- Me: Okay, body – let’s run that anger.
- Body: What anger?
- Me: All the anger, everything from when I was a little kid to last week.
- Body: No…, I don’t think so. That doesn’t seem like a very good idea. Nope. Don’t think I want to do that.
- Me (totally flabbergasted): What? Why?
- Body: Are you crazy? Have you LOOKED at that bubbling mass? Nope – not a wise idea at all. Thank you.
I felt like Gandalf being “good-morninged” by Bilbo Baggins at the beginning of The Hobbit. “No adventures here, thank you very much.” I’d not counted on my body taking one look at the level of anger I wanted to process and responding with not just fear, but stark terror.
To my credit, I didn’t force the issue. Instead, I took my body’s advice and actually looked at my anger. The first thing I noticed was that it was the “wrong” color. This is actually silly because there is no right or wrong color for anything – it is precisely the color it needs to be for me to process it. However, anger – including my anger – typically shows up as a true fire-engine red.
What I saw was deeper and darker – a red with a purple/blue cast – like arterial blood. I don’t really have a name for the emotion. It was beyond anger; even beyond rage. It was visceral, and there was a whole lot of it. No wonder my body was afraid.
The first thing I had to do was remember that all of this was mine. If it was mine, I could process it – I could release it. Using a variety of meditation techniques, I claimed my body and started to release the terror. I eventually realized that what was scaring my body was the level of violence (and hate) embedded within my anger – some directed at others, and a great deal of it directed toward myself. It was all there – bubbling and boiling under the surface ready to spew.
Over the course of the next several days, I started to drain away the things that weren’t actually anger – the impulse toward violence and the hate that went along with it. I also used other techniques to bring the experiences, that initially caused the anger, into the present to clear away. Eventually, I was able to have another conversation with my body about running anger. The answer was, “Okay, but only a bit at a time.”
That was the start. Now my anger is running more consistently, and I am continuing to use it to process old, stored pain. It is, indeed, a healing when combined with a focus on the many things I want to forgive. I figure this whole project will take me a while (years).
The process of starting to run my anger taught me several things. The main one is that if I really want to enhance my relationship with my body – say by acknowledging old pain and anger and forgiving myself – I need to pay attention to how my body responds to my spiritual actions and then make any necessary adjustments to accommodate what my body needs to effectively make the change. Working together is much more effective than just plowing ahead.
By Heidi Buswell